Not every party takes place in the big city. Some of the biggest parties happen in the smallest corners of the country, with absolutely no shortage of style. In fact, within tight knit communities is where I think style has the greatest freedom to make the biggest impact. And that’s exactly where my inspiration came from to throw one of Mobile, Alabama’s most memorable community members an unforgettable 65th birthday party.
Charlesetta Ball has touched the lives of a lot of people – be it friends, family or people in Mobile. And the precision with which she cared for her circle is how we wanted to execute the details of her party. Each one had to mirror her gregarious reputation and unforgettable personality, and that started with an experience that began as soon as guests arrived, letting them step out of their cars and into an upscale experience from the 1970s. Fitted with a chic dinner party, larger-than-life dessert display, vibrant dance floor and high energy band, breathtaking floral displays and unique, custom bars, it was a night no would want to miss.
I wanted my overall design idea to channel the sultry and elegant vibes of a 70’s-era night out – one with dramatic colors and sparkling details, complete with dynamic entertainment and delicious food. Every element we chose honored Mrs. Ball in some way, from custom-made logos to specific desserts, impactful displays and a personalized gallery wall. Each element put her stylish and compassionate signature on the event.
And it was impossible not to notice! Whether the fabulous, custom logo showcased on a black and gold backdrop or the massive centerpiece of the honoree’s initials created with flowers, it was a huge nod to one of Mobile’s greatest treasures. The event was also a sanctuary for any sweet tooth. An 11-foot wide dessert wall showcased a myriad of exquisitely detailed treats, offering a little something for any kind of confectionary craving.
Lastly, I wanted to make sure the event showcased how much Mrs. Ball meant to her family, friends and neighbors and found a chic, subtle way to do that by displaying a long wall of pictures highlighting some of what she deemed her best memories. Conversation starter and artful décor installation, this gallery wall let guests reflect with either laughter or awe – and sometimes both! – on what Mrs. Ball has meant to them. To me, that’s a kind of celebrating that will never go out of style.
Photos by Dwight Ladd